Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do

Seeing friends and family

COVID-19 protection levels: we have set out plans for a new 5-level system to help tackle the spread of the virus. Read more about the new protection levels, which are due to be introduced from 2 November.

This guidance applies across Scotland except in the central belt where additional measures are in place until 06:00 on Monday 2 November.

Inside people’s homes

Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household.

An extended household is one where two households have joined together to form a single household. An extended household can be formed by a person who lives alone – or only with children under 18. They and another household of any size can agree to form an extended household. An extended household can also be formed by a couple who do not live together, and their children. More on extended households.

These rules apply to everyone, including children. Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes.

These restrictions apply to social visits inside houses only.

You can go into someone’s house to provide essential care and support such as providing unpaid care, childcare and delivering shopping to a vulnerable person. Tradespeople can also go into people’s homes to carry out work and repairs.

Everyone should follow good hygiene, by washing hands regularly.

See tourism guidance for information on using holiday accommodation in Scotland.

Outdoors

You can meet people outside, in your garden or a public space, in groups of up 6 people from no more than 2 households (not counting under-12s).

Limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

If you are meeting another household in their garden, you should only go into their home to:

  • access the garden – do so quickly and without touching anything
  • use the toilet – avoid touching surfaces as much as possible and clean hands thoroughly

Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or people who can meet outdoors, and do not have to physically distance in gardens or public spaces, such as parks.

A maximum of six 12-17 year old can meet outdoors, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required.

These restrictions do not apply where there is other sector specific guidance in force, for example for gyms, childcare, organised sports, education, and places of worship. 

Indoors in public spaces 

A maximum of 6 people from 2 households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants. Children under 12 from those 2 households are not counted towards the 6 people limit.

See: eating and drinking out

See: guidance on seeing friends and family

Carers

Carers can enter another household to provide unpaid care for someone else.

Children and childcare

You can provide childcare in your home, for example to look after a grandchild.

Car sharing and giving lifts

You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website when there is no alternative.

Shielding

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are not being advised to shield at this time. See: information on staying safe if you were previously shielding

Travelling to see friends and family

See the travel section.

Visiting care homes and hospitals

Visits to hospitals and care homes are being phased in.

Care homes

Visits over and above essential visits are being gradually re-introduced.

Care home residents can have:

  • up to 6 outdoor visitors from no more than 2 households at a time by pre-arranged appointment
  • 1 indoor visitor once a week and for up to four hours by pre-arranged appointment if care homes have had their visiting plans approved by local public health teams
  • essential visits should always be enabled by care homes and are to support with residents’ wellbeing or in circumstances approaching end of life
  • children and young people can visit outdoors, or indoors (if it is an essential visit)

These arrangements may be different if you live in an area with additional measures. See: COVID-19 local measures

See: care home visitor guidance

Hospital visiting

Visits over and above essential visits are being gradually re-introduced.

Each person in hospital can have 1 designated visitor, to be made by pre-arranged appointment.

These arrangement may be different if you live in an area with additional measures. See: COVID-19 local measures

Work and business

COVID-19 protection levels: we have set out plans for a new 5-level system to help tackle the spread of the virus. Read more about the new protection levels, which are due to be introduced from 2 November.

Everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Where work cannot be done at home, employers should take clear steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work.

Read: guidance on working from home.

Our route map sets out when different types of work and workplaces are allowed to get back up and running, subject to safety measures and relevant guidance.

Non-essential offices and call centres should not yet re-open.

Guidance on how to work safely in different types of workplace has been developed in consultation collaboration with industry, trade unions, regulators, local authorities and others, including equality organisations.

Travel

COVID-19 protection levels: we have set out plans for a new 5-level system to help tackle the spread of the virus. Read more about the new protection levels, which are due to be introduced from 2 November.

This guidance applies across Scotland except in the central belt where additional measures are in place until 06:00 on Monday 2 November.

We are not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage however: 

  • you should minimise public transport use as much as possible, however it may be necessary for travel to education, undertaking caring responsibilities and work, where it cannot be done from home
  • people living in the five health board areas are advised not to travel outside the health board area they live in, unless they need to
  • people in other parts of Scotland should not travel to these areas unless they need to
  • you should access goods, services and activities in your local area as much as possible
  • please walk, drive and cycle when you can to save space on public transport for those who need it
  • please work from home if you can

Tourism

If you have booked a holiday during this period then you can still go – but you should only travel with and stay with people from your own or extended household group

Everyone using public transport in Scotland must wear a face covering. Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

For further advice and guidance see Transport Scotland’s websiteadvice on travelling safely within Scotland.

Travelling to Scotland from other parts of the UK

Check local guidance before travelling to others parts of the UK, and if possible avoid travelling to areas with restrictions in place. See local advice and measures.

Travelling abroad

You should think carefully before booking non-essential foreign travel at this time.

All countries are keeping the virus situation under review and travel rules can change at short notice to protect public health. This could include having to quarantine. Do not assume that the rules and regulations applying to or in your destination when you book a holiday will stay the same when you are there or be the same when you come to travel home.

Travelling to Scotland from overseas

You must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days if you arrive in Scotland from a country outside the Common Travel Area, unless you are travelling from a country that is exempt.

The Common Travel Area includes the following places, and only applies if you were there for 14 days or more before arriving in Scotland:

  • England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man

Quarantine rules apply to all travel to Scotland, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. It also applies regardless of how you have arrived in Scotland – directly or via another part of the UK.

There is a list of exempt countries or territories where quarantine is not required. This list is continuously reviewed and countries can be taken off or added at any time. There is also a small list of sectoral exemptions where quarantine is not required. This exemptions list is also under regular review.

All passengers must complete an online passenger locator form before travelling, and provide contact details, travel details and the address of their final destination. 

Car/vehicle sharing and giving lifts

You should only share a vehicle with those from your household or extended household. If you have no other option, you should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely. Carers and those they provide unpaid care for can travel together but they should follow that advice.